Wednesday marked the first day that airline passengers traveling to the United States faced “enhanced security measures” required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The changes, according to a Homeland Security fact sheet, were made to “combat a ‘spider web’ of threats to commercial aviation as terrorists pursued new attack methods” and would affect travel from 105 countries, 280 airports, 180 airlines, 2,100 daily flights and 325,000 daily passengers. The enhanced measures included enhancing overall passenger screening, heightened screening of personal electronic devices, increased security protocols around aircraft and passenger areas and deploying advanced technology, expanded canine screening and establishing additional preclearance locations.
According to a CBC story, WestJet and Air Canada advised passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure to accommodate time needed for the enhanced security.
But early indications are the new measures haven’t caused much slowing, according to a story on travelweek.ca. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is reporting the current wait times for passengers bound for the United States are less than five minutes at Toronto Pearson International Airport – Canada’s busiest hub – and 5-10 minutes at Vancouver (B.C.) International Airport.
Here is what some passengers are saying, though: